Pituophis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Pituophis
Pithuophis melanoleucus annectens - Chris Brown.jpg
San Diego gopher snake
Pituophis melanoleucus annectens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Tribe: Lampropeltini
Genus: Pituophis
Holbrook, 1842
Synonyms

Arizona, Churchilla, Coluber, Elaphis, Epiglottophis, Pityophis, Rhinechis, Spilotes[1]

Pituophis is a genus of nonvenomous colubrid snakes commonly referred to as gopher snakes, pine snakes, and bull snakes, which are endemic to North America.

Geographic range[edit]

Species within the genus are found throughout the western and southern United States and in Mexico.[2]

Description[edit]

All species of Pituophis are large and powerfully built. The head is relatively small in proportion to the body, and it is only slightly distinct from the neck. The rostral is enlarged and elongated, imparting a characteristic somewhat pointed shape to the head. All the species occurring in the United States have 4 prefrontals instead of the usual 2.[2]

Modified epiglottis[edit]

In all snakes of the genus Pituophis the epiglottis is peculiarly modified so that it is thin, erect, and flexible. When a stream of air is forced from the trachea, the epiglottis vibrates, thereby producing the peculiarly loud, hoarse hissing for which bull snakes, gopher snakes, and pine snakes are well known.[3]

Species[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wright, A.H., & A.A. Wright. 1957. Handbook of Snakes of the United States and Canada. Comstock. Ithaca and London. 1,105 pp. (in 2 volumes) (Pituophis, pp. 585-626, Figures 171.-181., Map 46.)
  2. ^ a b Conant, R. 1975. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Second Edition. Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 429 pp. ISBN 0-395-19977-8 (paperback). (Genus Pituophis, pp. 198-201 + Plate 27 + figure 57 + Map 147.)
  3. ^ Schmidt, K.P., and D.D. Davis. 1941. Field Book of Snakes of the United States and Canada. G.P. Putnam's Sons. New York. 365 pp. (Genus Pituophis, pp. 158-160.)

Further reading[edit]

  • Holbrook, J.E. 1842. North American Herpetology; or, A Description of the Reptiles Inhabiting the United States. Vol. IV. J. Dobson. Philadelphia.
    138 pp., 35 plates. (Genus Pituophis, p. 7.)

External links[edit]